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EXPANDING PIPE LINING CAPABILTIES

Posted: Friday 30th November 2018

PBF Drainage Services Ltd is pleased to announce that it has become a UK distributor for the Danish pipe lining system Bluelight which utilises LED curing of the liners for installation.

The Bluelight system is believed to be the only patented system of its type currently on the market and has been truly tried and tested with over 300,000 m of completed installations across Europe. Manufactured by one of the largest lining contractors in Europe, Per Aarsleff Denmark, the system has been in development for approximately 8 years.

The liners are not only made by Per Aarsleff but also used by the company’s contracting arm so the company has a wealth of knowledge which has enabled it to build a user-friendly system based on extensive testing and wide-ranging use in the commercial field.

Bluelight liners can be installed and cured around multiple 90° bends within a pipe run, negotiate diameter changes and the system is claimed to have the fasted curing speed of any of the new LED-based lining systems. The use of LED lights, which emit a 360° of light without any moving parts, means that the system is incredibly robust. The ability to cure glass-fibre liners as well as felt liners increases its capabilities and includes the potential for ‘blind shot’ linings with only single entry points.

BLUELIGHT

The Bluelight system utilises inversion equipment to install liners. The system can keep pressure in the liner where water infiltration occurs by means of an adaptor for the curing system, either directly into the liner or via the inversion equipment.

The LED light head is then pushed or pulled through the installed liner to the end point and the LED lights are then switched on using the highly automated touch screen control panel. The control system then records and monitors all of the settings including pressure, light intensity, curing speed, temperature and it also controls the speed at which the light head is pulled back through the liner.

The liner is kept up to pressure using a cooled air which is blown down the push rod system attached to the light train and through the middle of the light head which in turn also cools the LED lights. Once the light head is back within 1 m of the access point the automatic motor stops and then the head is pulled back manually to prevent any damage occurring through over-pulling the light head.

The Bluelight system is capable of utilising 100 mm to 250 mm (4 in to 10 in) diameter inversion liners and up to 600 mm (25 in) diameter glass-fibre liners. The standard and commonly required cable lengths are 40 m for the small 18 mm diameter light head, 50 m for the larger 22 mm diameter light head and 100 m again with the 22 mm diameter light head, although special arrangements can be made to accommodate client’s requirements if necessary. Curing can also be carried out from both ends of the pipe run to increase installation lengths if required.

The Bluelight system generally utilises pre-wet liners that have a shelf life of approximately 3 months if stored correctly or liners can also be wet-out on site if required, a process that requires no mixing of chemicals as Bluelight uses a single part resin. The liners have been specifically designed for use with the Bluelight system and have undergone full German DIBT certification which includes strength testing, abrasion testing and the ability to withstand high-pressure jetting. The liners have also undergone continuous testing to make sure that no delamination occurs between the felts and the outer layer.

With the installation process being similar to traditional inversion lining, training of the PBF crews that will be utilising the system has mainly involved use of the control system and learning the particulars of the installation process. This training was carried out in Denmark with Per Aarsleff. This also means that now as a distributor PBF will be able to offer the same quality of training to any customers purchasing the system.

CAPABILITIES

The Bluelight system is primarily used where speed and minimal work area issues are present. This has included hospitals, schools, care homes, as well as road gullies and other outdoor areas.

For example, the requirement for speed was required when working in a local university during holiday periods and the completion date had to be met without fail. On average 11 liners were installed during each shift, ranging in length of 5 m to 38 m in length. The client insisted on zero-odour production and this required either an epoxy resin or the use of the Bluelight styrene-free resin.

Due to the nature of the resins environmental issues are reduced and this was reduced further by the fact that the liners were pre-wet out in a controlled environment at the factory. The curing speeds play a big part in the ability to install multiple liners in a single shift reducing the impact on the client. The noise impact of the equipment is also minimal as once inflated the liners are kept at pressure via the light head itself with only a small volume of air required. The equipment can either be 240 v or 110 v powered and only requires a 2.8 kVa generator which is a standard size most contractors would use.

ADVANTAGES

When asked why the Bluelight system has been taken on by PBF Drainage and what advantages it will bring to the company James Stern, Director of PBF said: “As a specialist rehabilitation company carrying out all types of drainage repair we have capabilities covering patch repairs, ambient cure lining, hot cure lining, and Ultra Violet light cure lining. The Bluelight system is generally designed for lateral lining, meaning that resin choice is important, styrene can be harmful to health and consideration needs to be taken into account for the odours that can arise from the lining process. Epoxy is generally the preferred resin choice, this is both expensive and requires careful mixing and once mixed will cure, so time constraints then play a part in the installation. Epoxies also require heating or time to achieve an ambient cure. This means additional time on site or additional equipment.”

James also commented: “There also needs to be consideration for the time spent doing the works, clients do not want workers onsite for long periods of time with lots of noise, equipment, chemicals being mixed etc. The Bluelight system reduces all of these issues by using a single part, styrene-free, odour-free resin, so there is no need for chemical mixing or wetting out of liners as our liners can be pre-wet and stored in cool boxes until required.”

The installation equipment and curing equipment used with Bluelight utilises only a very small footprint. Curing takes place using LED lights and is not reliant on any heat, the system is similar in size to a pushrod camera system. Curing speeds of up to 1.6 m per minute are achievable, so time on site is also reduced. Due to the nature of lining there are always inherent risks during the installation process. This can be due to failures in the inversion process or during the curing process, normally these defects are only apparent once the liner has cured and the final CCTV survey is carried out. Because the entire Bluelight process is monitored by using an internal camera system any defects can be seen prior to any curing taking place and these can be rectified before any problems arise.

James continued: “As a company we are always striving to use the most cost effective and environmentally-friendly method available, making sure the correct liner is installed for that particular situation. Not every liner is suitable for all situations and the Bluelight system increases our capabilities. Traditionally for lateral lining the cheapest and most readily available liners have been used and this has meant that in some cases the incorrect method of lining has been chosen with little awareness from the client. The new system enables PBF to keep its standards where they should be, which is as high as possible using high grade materials, as well as new innovative equipment. In this way, we have been able to increase our output and reduce any risk of failure or risk to the environment, whilst keeping the client happy.”

Concluding James said: “Concerning my own personal involvement with Per Aarsleff and Bluelight, I have followed this system from conception through development to production. The system fits in with PBF’s range of services as being highly portable, cost effective, reliable and easy to use. It was important for us to have a reliable system that can withstand the generally harsh environment that it works in but can offer us high standards we offer our clients.”

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December 2018

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